I thought I’d take a moment and write a recap on where 2019 has taken me in my writing journey as well as look forward to what is in store for 2020.
2019 began with me sending out yet another batch of queries in the hopes of landing a literary agent, one of the first steps in traditionally publishing a novel. In total, I’ve queried 80 agents. Some would say that you haven’t really queried until you queried over 100 but still, 80 is a lot. And over the last couple of years, the desire to self-publish my novels has been steadily growing. I finally reached the tipping point in June. After some financial negotiations with the wife (which reminds me, I still owe her a new fence), I finally decided that the time had come to get my novels out into the world. And on June 12th, I announced that The Path of the Synthesizer would be “coming soon”. I was hesitant to announce an official release date because I didn’t know how long the process would take. I had to hire an editor, a cover designer, and a cartographer. At the time I thought in my head I was looking at an early September release. Boy was I wrong.
The editing process, designing of the cover, and the making of a map all went rather smoothly. I really enjoyed working with Elayne, my editor. I especially enjoyed reading some of her non-editing comments (such as reactions to particular moments in the story). She did a wonderful job overall and seriously helped me out understanding what titles should and shouldn’t be capitalized. I take full responsibility for any and all mistakes that might still be lurking in the story. Admittedly, I did a fair amount of tweaking after the editing process, both as a result of things I noticed and things the wife noticed. I had the option of sending the book back to the editor for a second round but in the interest of $$$ I ultimately opted against it.
Jake, my cover designer did a phenomenal job, I think you can agree. I’m still amazed by the fact that all I had to do was present him with some words and he took those words and brought them to life. You can see my cover on display over at his website. I was so impressed, in fact, that we’ve already completed the cover for book two in the series. 😁 But I’m not going to show it to you just yet. 😜 But I can say it turned out just as amazing as the first one.
Initially, I tried my hand at making a map of Dradonia. I had a hand-drawn one I’d been referencing during the writing process but I needed something professional. I downloaded a program and tried making a professional-looking map but I always ended up with something hokey. It didn’t take long for me to realize that, as I needed a professional editor and cover designer, I also needed a professional cartographer. Zach came to me as a referral (actually, all three entities were referrals). I was almost embarrassed to send him my cartoonish hand-drawn map, but he took my scrawlings and turned them into an incredible map. There are two maps actually, but the second one won’t be featured until the fourth–and final–book.
Those three steps were completed in early September. It took me a bit to process all the edits, then came the proofreading. 🤦♂️ The perfectionist in me just wouldn’t let me quit. I’m still half-tempted to pull the plug on the whole thing, but I won’t. The wife volunteered to proof it for me as well and ended up being rather helpful. She has a keen literary eye.
Fast forward a couple more months and after more than one proofread, I finally decided it was time to establish a publication date. Turns out what I thought was going to take just a few months took half a year. And if you haven’t already heard, New Year’s Eve is the big day!
The Path of the Synthesizer, book one of The Blessed of the Dragon is now available to pre-order in both print and ebook formats. It’s an adult fantasy novel (sorry, not actually about musical keyboards) and can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore, B&N, or on your favorite ereader.
So what about 2020?
I have a picture in mind of what I’d like to accomplish in 2020. The Blessed of the Dragon series is a four-book series. My goal is to have the complete series published by the end of 2020. Books two and three are for all intents and purposes complete. Book two went to the editor in early November and as of about a week ago has a cover (which I’m very excited about)! I’ve been doing some self-editing and revisions on book three while I wait for book two to return from the editor. Book four is written but needs the most work. I foresee a bit of work ahead but nothing that’s not doable.
I’m hesitant to write this but here is my tentative publishing plan:
April 2020: The Island of Kvorga
September 2020: The Dragon King
December 2020: book four, title yet finalized.
As I said, I’m hesitant to publish those dates but they are my tentative goals. However, they are obviously subject to change as my goal for publishing The Path of the Synthesizer took about four months longer than I thought it would. My hope, though, is that with the experience I’ve gained in going through the publishing process with Path publishing the subsequent books will go a little smoother and quicker.
So there you have it. My dream of publishing a book (yes, my original intent was to publish a book) is coming to fruition. It may not be happening as I had originally envisioned it, but I think this might just be better. For better or worse, I’ve had complete control over the whole publishing process, which is something you forfeit if you traditionally publish.
I am at the same time excited and terrified to finally be sharing my story with the world. I’m excited because it is something I’ve been working on for far too long and to see it finally exist brings me a modicum of satisfaction. I can say that I created something. It might be great or it might suck (probably the later rather than the former) but in the end, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did it to the best of my abilities. It’s not perfect, I know, but it’s not horrible (at least I don’t think it is…). I am at the same time terrified because people will be reading my writing–at least a few of you anyways. The introvert in me wonders how I could have let this happen… I’m mentally berating myself as I type. So don’t mind me if I disappear on New Year’s Eve, never to be seen in public ever again. All kidding aside, I truly hope that those of you kind enough to support this outlandish hobby of mine truly enjoy the world and characters I’ve created.
Thanks in advance and happy reading!